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Thread: 6-8-11

  1. #1
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    It's not really like getting ready to go on vacation though I am making many of the same preparations. Animals need to be cleaned and fed. Bills need to be taken care of, laundry done, dishes washed, lawn mowed. Just like getting ready to leave for a few days.Except that maybe, probably not but still a distinct possibility, this particular little outing may not have the happy homecoming that most vacations do.

    Next Monday I go in for heavy duty chemo and then the stem cell transplant. I can hear the Amazons chanting now, preparing for my oh-so-tender flesh, my oh-so-tasty blood, my oh-so-you've-got-to-be-kidding daily blood transfusions because once the chemo takes effect I will have zero clotting ability along with zero germ fighting capability. Their sweet melody is coming in clearer, louder, as the days of freedom become few.

    Did you know that if your blood can't clot you can bleed internally just because? For no reason you can start to leak on the inside and if you can't self regulate that leakage, the knock you hear on your cell, er hospital room door, is Death. I am sure this simple fact was mentioned to me somewhere sometime in the last few months. It didn't really sink in until I got the request for names of possible blood donors since I will be needing mass quantities of that salty red beverage full of life giving, preserving, preventing from expiring, fluid that is so often so taken for granted.

    So many details to forget or misremember. Another fun fact about not clotting, or having your ability to clot impaired, is that working with snakes that have anticoagulative properties is exciting. Very exciting. Seeing a giant tube of muscle rocketing out of its tub in search of food, mouth agape body flailing, seeing those eyes looking right at you but missing the dangling rodent, sweeping back and forth with the gusto of a 6 year old trying to open a piņata with a broom handle, knowing that if you get nailed, which has only happened, knock on wood, once, you may well not clot, well, that's some excitement.

    But I digress. Back to vacation preparation.

    It's been more years than I can recall since I left for more than 3 days in a row. With all the creatures I have, had, am and was responsible for, that 3 days was pushing it. Almost everyone reading this will understand that for those of us who keep many animals, be they reptilian or the food to feed them, long term absences are not possible. Heck, last year I took the first 3 dayer I had in a looooong time only to come home to a frozen solid air conditioner, literally a solid block of ice, during a heat wave. Killed off almost half my rats and a few snakes being as how it was over 100 each day I was gone. I did not know that if your A/C's compressor fails it can cause the unit to freeze solid, literally become a block of ice, which does not, of course, mean it blows colder air than normal but does, in fact, mean it blows hot air exceptionally well. That was a fun, and stinky, homecoming.

    You can see why my minimum, if all goes super fantastically well, incarceration at City of Hope, 3 to 5 weeks, is so very exciting for me. I have such fond memories of the return from my last absence. Of course this time I do have reliable help who will be here daily which is a great relief. My offspring have been and will continue to be of tremendous assistance. They are having quite a load dropped on them. Chips off the old boulder, as it were. Thankful I am for that. If my kids were wusses I'd be a sad man.

    The irony here, the dark humor of this coming incarceration, er vacation, the leaving behind of all my responsibilities to go fight for my life, has me basically thumbing my nose at the unknown source of this cancer. I'd flip someone off if I knew to whom I should offer such gestures of friendship and camaraderie. Alas, there is no one to blame, other than all of us as well as those who came before. This is caused not by genetic malformation but by industrial toxins. We ALL know that no one who produces THOSE has EVER had a spill or accident or slewed the facts in their favor, hidden known poisons of all natures in the drive for ever higher profits no matter the cost to the environment or those who share it, no, no ONE to blame. Except all of us who have let this poisoning of the land we live on, the water we drink, the air we breath, the food we eat, except for those of us who have allowed all of that to become the cesspool that is Los Angeles, there is no one to blame.

    So, I have no anger. With nothing to be angry at, why waste a good mad? Doesn't mean I wish it wasn't otherwise, but if wishes was fishes I'd be eating sushi right now. For the record, it's looking like some nice tasty oatmeal or maybe a poached egg for the breaking of my fast this coming morning. (no fishes hence no wishes)

    It's been six weeks since my last chemo treatment. It is possible that right now I am as healthy as I will ever be. My energy is good. My appetite is still fine. Other than some numbness in my fingertips I'm pretty well physically. Even my hair is starting to grow out. You have no idea how much some of those tiny tufts do for us. Without nose hair, snot can drip right out of your nostrils without any notice at all. That's fun. Without eyelashes you get some fine crusties, especially if you work with rodents in large quantities and those rodents get pine pellets as part of their bedding. Having your resident lip ferret and companion soup catcher, to quote a Space Cowboy, missing after years of sharing peanut butter sandwiches long after they've been eaten, go MIA is quite the dilemma. Years of companionship ended without thought for the sadness such breakups create. If I were one to obsess over my looks I'd be in pretty bad shape right now. It is fortunate indeed that I do indeed rock the Chrome Dome. As long as my hair was and as long as I had it, I was always, sometimes all by my lonesome, aware that what's inside is way more important than what's outside. This I think is the key to many problems, this worry about appearance over substance. Who care what the outside looks like if the inside is just a sack of crap? Far too many is the answer to that.

    More digression. These 4 am posts are not always concise.

    So, I'm off to see the wizard next week. Chemo, stem cell transplant, mask wearing zombie shuffle for possible daily, twice daily maybe for added fun and excitement, blood transfusions, some isolation so I don't die of a common cold while my body is jumpstarting itself, and then, back home for further recovery IF I do not reject my own stem cells. It's unlikely that I will reject them. They're mine and I'm stubborn. Tenacious even. However, tenacious as I am, I did not volunteer for this crap. It's not..... hard, but it is difficult to fight an unseen foe. Though I refuse to acknowledge its existence, its presence is irrefutable. In theory I'll have no problems and be home in 3 weeks. Gotta love a good theory.

    Oh well, :cens0r::cens0r::cens0r::cens0r: happens. With chemo it happens a lot. Not the pleasant dropping a load what a relief wow does that smell and when did I have corn kind either. More the Johnny Cash Burning Ring of Fire kind. Liquid fire, napalm. Have I mentioned how much fun I'm going to be having this summer?

    I'm not all gloom and doom though, quite the opposite. I have no picture of a future without me in it, no visions of deathbed visitations from those who only make amends at death's immanence. Heck, if I go all of you cease to exist and that's a heavy responsibility which I do not want. If I have any say in the matter you will all continue to exist for many years to come. Most of you anyway. Such responsibility, sheesh....

    Convoluted today. All of this last minute maybe last time stuff is just frickin bizarre. The plain and simple is that no matter how much I think positive, no matter how hard I fight, no matter how much I or anyone want a positive outcome, in spite of the fact that there is only a 1% chance I won't survive this, everything I do for the next few days may be the last time. The last leaves waving in the breeze. The last conversation with people I won't see again unless I come out the other side. The last sandwiche from a favorite dive. The last time I'll have any first times with my kids. That's the only thing that really bothers me about all this. I've got some damnfine kids.

    I don't look for fair, it doesn't exist. In my way I'll seek to right the wrong I've been done, if it is a wrong, by doing my best to continue to live, to fight the unseen with invisible weapons, to let myself be bombarded with chemicals who in this case, though they themselves are carcinogens, are also my allies- and there's a middle east comparison I had not conceived of prior to this writing-without whom my death is a certitude within a fairly short couple of years. Reading this I wonder that I am not curled in a tight little ball hiding under the covers like a child hiding from the monsters in the closet. I suppose having the monsters hiding in my lungs makes the under the covers thing sort of ridiculous. Moot too when you actually stop to consider it. Besides, I'm not much for hiding. Carrying my shield or on it. Surrender really isn't an option.

    I cannot tell you, because I do not know, but I have been told many many times to be positive, to think positive, not to give up or give in. Duh. And I do thank those who have expressed this to me. Seriously. I am, will, and do. You may not see it, but seriously, how much of my inner process has ever been visible? I do believe that attitude, a good one, is essential. I've got that. The good attitude. Hell, part of me is treating this as the adventure it is. I have new insights on life, fighting for it, keeping it, what really is important, that though I was close to, had touched upon previously, have now been brought to a clarity that I don't know I would have arrived at so soon, if at all, were it not for this battle I've been tossed into. Oddly, or not if you know me, even to me myself who is largely used to myself, this is a good thing. I know what I would do were I faced with making the choices most of us never think of, never should think of. I have not, for the most part, disappointed myself.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
    Stinky says, "Women should be obscene but not heard." Stinky is one smart man.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Jerhart's Avatar
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    Re: 6-8-11

    Godspeed sir.

    Kansas City Chiefs

  3. #3
    Don't Push My Buttons JLC's Avatar
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    Re: 6-8-11

    I'd say you're my hero...but that's not right. You ARE my friend. I think you understand the depth of my concerns and worries for you. And I hope you understand that my faith in your future is even deeper.
    -- Judy

  4. #4
    Registered User VicShell's Avatar
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    Re: 6-8-11

    I wish you the best of luck with your fight and know that there are many people praying that you will continue to fight and keep your spirits high for this is what you must do to beat this. We may not know each other but are still part of the same family. My prayers go out to you and your family.
    1.6 normals
    1.1 pastels
    1.1 het hypos
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  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran Alexandra V's Avatar
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    Re: 6-8-11

    I wish you all the best, and keep positive. It worked with my mother, just keep your chin up and don't let it get the best of you. My prayers are going out to you.
    1.0 Normal - Maynard
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  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran ed4281's Avatar
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    Good luck, I'll pray for your recovery.
    Currently have
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  7. #7
    BPnet Veteran
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    I wish you a speedy, dignified, and painless vacation.

    I have 3 people close to me who had the stem cell transplants to treat their cancers....and all 3 came through with flying colors. I wish the same for you.
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  8. #8
    BPnet Lifer Skiploder's Avatar
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    We're all pulling hard for you Wes.

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